I am reluctant now to admit that I did not want to work on Friday night. I would have much preferred to have snuggled up with a good book and been reading or doing anything else but work. My shift began much like usual, except that the library kept getting busier and busier as the night progressed. Usually people are just interested in DVDs and video games on a friday night at the library, but this night seemed to be an exception.
An 8 year old boy came into the library with his mother. She started asking me how people become school librarians and I explained that you needed a teaching certificate. Of course, then she wanted to know why a teaching certificate and not a masters degree, so I told her it was a really long and convoluted answer since there are many reasons and it is subject to debate. Anyway, I found out at that point that her son, the 8 year old boy standing in front of me wanted to be a librarian! Wow!!! I was literally shocked as I’ve never met a kid before that wanted to be a librarian. So, he was looking for advice on what he needed to do. I told him to get to know technology as much as he could, to become really good at interacting with people, and to read and learn as much as he possibly could too. Also that once he gets into high school to become part of the teen advisory group and get a job as a page at the library. Anyone have more ideas of things to say in the event that this happens again to me???
As if this wasn’t enough inspiration for me, about an hour before the library was supposed to close, a teenage girl looked over at me, waved hello and was smiling. I didn’t remember her at all and was trying to rack my brain to figure out how or if I knew her. Anyway, following behind her was a mother and another 2 girls. They were all so happy to see me. Once I saw the mother and the other two girls I immediately recognized that they had come into the library with a real reference question that no one had been able to answer, until I suggested looking at the Project Gutenberg website and we immediately found the answer. The girl was so happy to report to me that she got 97% on her paper and she was attributing that to me. Honestly, I couldn’t accept the honours – I had just guided her to the source she needed. I congratulated her on her hard work as that’s how she got the great mark and thanked her for letting me know the good results too! Really, though it showed me that some people (and I am most especially happy to report some teenagers) really do want to find the “real” answers and aren’t satisfied with what Google alone has to offer and are willing and do consult librarians to find the answers.
The other great thing that happened was the fact that I signed up about 30 kids for the summer reading club in about 3-4 hours! I thought that was pretty good. One of the kids I signed up was a 4 year old girl. I got her to write her name on the back of the slip as I like the kids to feel involved in signing themselves up. Anyway, it turns out it was the first time ever that this little one had written her name. Tears came to my eyes when I heard that, so I rewrote all the information on another slip and gave her mother the slip where she had written her name for the first time!
I left work Friday night so happy to be a part of libraries and so inspired to do as much as I can as part of the profession. Not everyday do I see that libraries have such an effect on people, but the days where I do see this, it makes me realize and know in my heart that this is where I am meant to be.